Teachers play a vital role in shaping the future by educating the next generation of leaders, but many teachers are not adequately compensated for their critical work. Low salaries and inadequate benefits are a significant concern for many educators, and addressing this issue is essential for attracting and retaining high-quality teachers.

For example, in the United States, teacher salaries have not kept pace with inflation, leading to many teachers leaving or taking on second jobs to make ends meet.

During my first year of teaching, I vividly remember a question one of my students asked me in the middle of class. So what was the question, and why do I still remember it? My student asked, “Miss, is it true garbage men make more money than teachers?”

Needless to say, I was surprised by the question because it had nothing to do with our science lesson. So, I told the class I would address the question at the end of class. With five minutes left in the class, the students reminded me to answer the question.

So what was the answer to the question? Well, I told my students I wasn’t sure, but the starting salary for teachers was about $34,000 per year. My students were shocked! They assumed teachers made a lot of money. So another student asked why I became a teacher if I wouldn’t “get paid.” I explained that I became a teacher because I wanted to raise up the next generation of leaders. As my students left class, one student told me they appreciated me but would never be a teacher because there is too much work for too little money.

Competitive salaries are crucial for attracting talented teachers and keeping them in the profession. When teachers are not paid a fair wage, it can lead to frustration and burnout, negatively impacting the quality of education students receive. Schools can attract and retain talented individuals passionate about educating and nurturing students by providing teachers with competitive salaries.

Benefits are also an essential factor in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. Healthcare benefits, in particular, are critical for ensuring that teachers are healthy and can effectively perform their duties. Therefore, teachers should have access to quality healthcare, including preventative care, medical treatment, and mental health services.

Retirement benefits are fundamental in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. Teachers dedicate their careers to educating the next generation, and they deserve to retire with dignity and security. Providing teachers with a comprehensive retirement plan can help ensure they are financially secure in their retirement years.

Addressing low salaries, healthcare, and retirement benefits is vital for attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. In addition, they are crucial factors in creating a more positive and effective education system. As a result, teachers are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs, leading to increased productivity and improved student outcomes.

“Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.”

– Unknown

By investing in our teachers, we can ensure that they can provide our students with the highest quality of education and help them reach their full potential.


Are you a classroom teacher, school administrator, or central office staff member looking for principles and best practices to support student success? Then join me for the Educational Leadership Moment on YouTube.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.